Meet the 2023 PCJ in the Bay Fellows
Belle Haven Action | Climate Resilient Communities | Communities for a Better Environment | North Fair Oaks Community Alliance | Nuestra Casa | OneShoreline | Rise South City | The Greenlining Institute | Valley Verde
Edward Apraku is a second-year PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering, researching the remediation of polluted water using various electrochemical methods. While his research focuses on the technical aspect of environmental remediation, he is excited to research the policy and regulatory challenges that come with it, particularly the challenges and barriers that communities of color face. As a first-generation low-income (FLI) student raised in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, he has experienced the increasing threat of climate change from worsening drought conditions to extreme heat. This summer, he will be working with Belle Haven Action to identify the environmental injustices that the community faces, examine ways to highlight the inequities to the City of Menlo Park, and research investment strategies to move towards remediation and equity. Before coming to Stanford, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University.
Shefali Doshi is a rising junior studying International Relations and Data Science. She is very passionate about human rights and sustainability, especially with regard to promoting educational equity and environmental justice. This summer, Shefali will be working with Belle Haven Action in Menlo Park to help improve residential air quality and accessibility of resources for residents of all ages. She hopes to engage directly with community members to research and implement meaningful climate solutions. Her experience includes volunteering on a successful California Senate campaign and promoting early childhood literacy with Reach Out and Read. Shefali is also an active member of Stanford Habla, South Asian Society, and Flying Treehouse.
Henry Lai (he/him) is a senior in earth systems with a focus on land systems and community-environment interactions. A resident of Mountain View, Henry is drawn to this work because of the environmental injustices present in the communities around his own. This year he is working with Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) to assist with the implementation of community-led vulnerability assessments in the communities of Belle Haven and North Fair Oaks. He hopes to learn more about how organizations like CRC function and how to help communities and individuals find agency in their response and adaptation to climate change.
Brydie Sigg is a rising junior majoring in Earth Systems with a concentration in Human Environmental Systems. She will be joining Climate Resilient Communities this summer, where her focus will be on community and youth education projects centered around climate change and environmental justice. Growing up in Utah, Brydie was surrounded by the beautiful outdoors, but she also witnessed the detrimental impact of pollution inversions. Witnessing the resulting health disparities within her community sparked her passion for studying ways to mitigate climate change's effects on vulnerable populations. This summer, she looks forward to immersing herself in the rich experiences of Bay Area communities and uplifting young individuals by offering them avenues to become environmental advocates.
Tala Parker is completing her Master’s in Sustainability Science and Practice (class of ’23). Additionally, she has a Bachelor’s in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and a minor in Psychology from Stanford. She specializes in the intersection of sustainability and equity and is passionate about environmental justice. This summer, Tala will be working with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and will be researching Chevron’s use of alternative fuels. Growing up, Tala lived in Richmond and could see the Chevron refinery (which often spouted flames from its smokestacks) from where she lived. In the past, Tala had the opportunity to research transit related issues for the NRDC and is looking forward to learning more about issues related to Just Transitions through working with CBE.
Natchaya Pichetsatha (she/they) is graduating from Stanford Law School with A Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environmental Law and Policy. Her research focuses on how to improve the gaps and challenges in Environmental and Social Justice in Energy Transition, especially in Authoritarian Regimes. This summer, Natchaya will be joining Communities for a Better Environment, working on the advancement of renewable energy beneficial to environmental justice communities and developing political education and mobilization materials to advance campaigns for a just transition in Richmond in the context of global environmental and climate justice movements. Prior to her study at Stanford, she was an environmental lawyer in an environmental litigation and advocacy non-profit organization and also a policy analyst in a political party in Thailand.
Anoushka Raj is a first-year student in the master's program for civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. Her specialization is in human health and environment and process engineering. She's passionate about sustainability and taking a gendered approach to addressing climate change. Anoushka is also interested in exploring how environmental policy and technology intersect. On campus, she actively participates in various initiatives promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, demonstrating her commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society. This summer, she will be joining the North Fair Oaks Community Alliance to work on community-based environmental justice in unincorporated areas and help with community outreach efforts.
Aiyana Washington is a third-year undergraduate studying earth systems with a minor in theater and performance studies. Her work lies at the intersection of storytelling and environmental justice, and she has previously written for the Bay Area climate journal KneeDeep Times. This summer, Aiyana will be joining North Fair Oaks Community Alliance (NFOCA) to support their work in building resilience to climate threats and developing strategies for civic engagement. She is grateful for this opportunity to use her passion for communication to engage deeply in grassroots work. On campus, Aiyana has served as a co-lead for Earthtones and is a docent at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.
Valeria Vega Yanez
Valeria Vega Yanez is a junior majoring in earth systems in the biosphere track. She will be joining Nuestra Casa to develop and translate education content about environmental justice and is looking forward to engaging with communities outside of Stanford's campus. This internship is especially meaningful to Valeria as she hopes to integrate environmental justice tenants into her future work within the field of disease ecology. For the foreseeable future, Valeria will continue to reside in California and hopes that this experience will allow her to form community bonds outside of Stanford.
Hannah Melville-Rea is a first-year PhD student at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in environment and resources. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from New York University Abu Dhabi. Prior to starting her PhD, Hannah worked at the Australia Institute, an independent think tank, where she translated climate projections into community briefs about extreme heat and provided recommendations for Australia’s climate resilience strategy. This summer, Hannah will collaborate with OneShoreline to evaluate flood insurance needs in San Mateo County and explore the potential for community-based flood insurance programs.
Alan Cuevas is a senior and incoming master’s student in the earth systems program, primarily focusing on land and resource management strategies for climate adaptation. He is a FLI student from South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood plagued by environmental and social justice issues. This summer, he will be joining Rise South City to tackle environmental justice issues in predominantly low-income communities in South San Francisco. He will assist with a campaign to increase air quality monitors in homes and support the development of a South San Francisco climate change community team. He is excited to build on his skills and knowledge from previous experiences working with environmental justice organizations.
Leanna Lewis is graduating from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in design, with a focus in human behavior and multi-stakeholder research, and an additional focus in climate and environment. This summer, she will be joining Rise South City to help create more sustainable and equitable communities in South San Francisco. This includes identifying climate justice issues and communicating them to members of the community, installing air quality monitors in under-resourced homes, and designing new usable community spaces.
Mikayla Tillery is a rising junior pursuing a double major in urban studies and Black studies. She hopes to use her academic and professional career to make material differences for those disadvantaged by oppressive systems like neighborhood segregation and toxic stewardship. She will join the Greenlining Institute this summer, where she will apply research skills to build awareness of racial and social-economic disparities within energy and housing policy. At Stanford, she conducts research on equitable building decarbonization at the Stanford Law School and completed an internship at the United States Department of Energy.
Annie Obernoster is graduating with a master’s in Latin American studies from the ecology, environment, and sustainability track. They hold a bachelor's in human sciences from the University of Oxford. Annie is excited about exploring governance and communication systems that can help shift agriculture from causing social and ecological harm to an equitable climate change solution. Her thesis explores how urban agroecology farms support human and planetary well-being. This summer, Annie will work with Valley Verde, where they will help with a curriculum that supports children and parents building their own gardens, and with increasing the visibility of Valley Verde’s composting program.
Calista Triantis is a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in environmental justice through the earth systems program. As she has come to know her home in the Bay Area, she’s consistently struck by the strength of local communities to organize against the disproportionate impacts of climate change. This summer, she will be joining Valley Verde, a community-based food system in San Jose. After some experience supporting local environmental justice campaigns and growing food in farms and gardens, she’s looking forward to engaging directly in the local food sovereignty movement, as well as strengthening relationships and roots in the Bay before graduation.